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Microsoft unveils Surface tablet to compete with Apple's iPad

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71 Comments
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What a horrible looking tablet! Judging from the photo, the goofy man holding it doesn't seem to have all that much confidence in it either.

-4 ( +11 / -14 )

Another device that no doubt millions of consumers are going to be sucked into buying.

And then there'll be an - gasp! - upgrade!

It's amazing how companies like Microsoft and Apple suck so many people in so many times for so long.

Must.....have....the.....latest....gadget !!

Must.....buy....the.....upgrade !!

I wonder how many people think of the environmental cost of making - for example - 30 million iPhones, not to mention this last toy from MS.

-5 ( +11 / -15 )

the goofy man holding it doesn't seem to have all that much confidence in it either.

That goofy man is Steve Ballmer! Read your history books please.

But I have to agree whoever picked that photo much love apple.

8 ( +12 / -5 )

Ballmer looks especially creepy in this one....

5 ( +8 / -4 )

Not the best photo of Ballmer, but I do agree with Sushi mentioned - folks always run out to buy the prototype, only to find out that manufacturers only offer incremental improvements over the prior revision.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Sushi sake 3 - I take it you don't have a cell phone or PC? I'll bet my last dollar that you have both, which is a tad hypocritical , no? And by your reasoning (people have no self-control and will buy any new product) the Zune should be everywhere today and just as common as an ipod, for example. How is it Microsoft only managed to sell around 10 of them?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

gogogo:

That goofy man is Steve Ballmer! Read your history books please

Yes, I know it's Ballmer. It says so right under the photo, doesn't it? History books? Meh!

-7 ( +4 / -10 )

gogogo - I don't think you'll find Steve Ballmer's name in any history books. Or Steve Jobs, for that matter. History books tend to have info on say, history, for example. Not relatively innocuous billionaires.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Yes, I know it's Ballmer. It says so right under the photo, doesn't it?

It does. But it would seem that you missed it first time around, judging from your first post.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

hoserfella,

jobs and ballmer made history with their companies. Have you been in the basement for the last 30 years? Jobs is dead by the way, therefore a part of history now.

Regarding this device, too early to tell but MS is by most measures a dinosaur now. More rooted in history and the future. But they have the monopoly bucks to pretend otherwise.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The goofy guy that gogogo suggest doing a search for in a history book is Steve Ballmer.

History book is very apt.

I don't think he's got much longer.

Check him out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8M6S8EKbnU

I don't know what he was smoking, but I hope for his sake that he got rid of the evidence.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I use a Tablet PC so I guess I'm the target market. Love using OneNote 2010 for handwriting then typing like now when I need to. This is a lot thinner and lighter but I'd have to see the specs to see SSD and the ports to know what I can connect it to. I'll need a dock for an external monitor I guess ;)

If this can compete with Lenovo X-series Tablet PC's then there's a huge student/business market out there. No class is without five or six. The question becomes can Microsoft sell to that market? They have to emphasize that this is a product that can produce, so a producible, unlike the iPad which is only a consumable. ie: you don't code on it or write Office docs or handwrite on it.

I'd have to see what Windows 8 is like on it. I have tried a beta and hated it, so that might make it or break it for me too

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ballmer is looking a little evil there....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Zirconium - only tech geeks would recognize Ballmer's name. A business book, yeah. But history book?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

hoserfella: Rent the movie pirates of silicon valley, it is a little old but gives great insight.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It does. But it would seem that you missed it first time around, judging from your first post.

Uhm... no. I know what he looks like (a goofy looking man). His name is even mentioned right next to the photo (in the second paragraph). I can read and I can't complain about my eyesight either.

So, how does the goofy looking man plan to compete with Apple’s iPad using that goofy looking thing he's holding?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Horsefella, of course I have a PC and phone - both are necessary for my job.

But I only purchase another device when the one I've got stops operating - not simply when a flash upgrade is released.

Clearly, the big tech cos. have consumers wrapped around their little fingers, by, in part, playing on people's psychological desire for 'the new.'

That's despite the usually incremental design changes made between upgrades.

Let's look at IPhone 4S over the 4.

The new model is: faster, has a better camera, and talks to you (but still, apparently, understand Scottish. :-)

The point is: version 4 is slightly slower, also has (2) cameras, and - hey - doesn't talk to you but that's not exactly an imperative reason to go out and buy it.

Not such a big improvement and certainly not revolutionary by any stretch.

And yet something like 30 million have sold?

What a waste of resources

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I think Windows 8 is really only going to work on a touch screen. I tried it on my iMac but didn't care for it much and went back to Windows 7 which I do like. But I might install the Windows 8 on my iPad.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Must agree with some of you, this is a bad photo of Ballmer as he looks unconfident about the product. Looks like he is not the right one to promote the product.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I wonder when we will see any patent infringements?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

well judges are starting to force apple to go into mediation with the competitors they keep suing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Is that really the AOL 1996 screen layout?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

But I might install the Windows 8 on my iPad.

Good luck with that.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yeah, goog luck Microsoft. Does anybody remember the iPod killing Zune? Of course not!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Aside from this so called goofy bald old man holding Microsoft's newest answer to the IPAD, it does not really matter if this old bald man is photogenic or not, will this tablet RIVAL the IPAD?? What can it do better?? Cheaper?? etc..than Ipads, than Samsung Galaxy etc...the rest JT amigos is quite irrelevant because at the end of the day $$$$$$ talks, where do you want to put your $$$$$?? What OS, Tablet etc..will make you happier?? I say, bring on the competition because we all know that Apple's Ipads are still way too overpriced!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Don't suck! I need anything that can replace the overbearing proprietary junk of my iPad. I want something open and fully customizable, give me something I can add whatever I want to and tweak however I'd like. That being said, there isn't anything that comes close to the hardware niche it fills. This would be great for the market.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Zurcronium - Taking over the company from Bill Gates, a true innovator, does not make Ballmer an innovator. He was just next in line.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It's freaky photo bombs like this one of Steve Ballmer that are why Japanese auto companies use hot models to promote their vehicles at car shows instead of balding, 50-something designers. :-)

4 ( +5 / -1 )

A bit late, no?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

First FAIL with this "new" product was to call it Surface (after their complete flop - the Microsoft Surface Table made by Samsung and now called PixelSense)

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

A bit late, no?

Yes. Very late to the party.

Microsoft had tablets years ago, but the OS was just the same as a desktop. Where the iPad worked is that they designed the OS for interacting with the device in a natural way. There are no dropdown menus in iOS.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Clemens - it looks identical to every other product of this type lol! Why does this one look so bad compared to, for example, an iPad?

Regarding the product, the chance to use photoshop and other specialised software on the go could be a big selling point.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

unlike the iPad which is only a consumable. ie: you don't code on it or write Office docs or handwrite on it.

Where did that piece of nonsense come from? Not from anyone who uses one, for sure!

I use a bluetooth keyboard with my iPad if I have a lot of typing to do. It's an extension of my iMac. It's much easier to do artwork on the iPad than a Wacom Tablet and for music, the iPad is great. I hook a keyboard up to it. Garageband is a lot of fun.

The iPad is a superb production tool. Much thinner and lighter than a laptop.

The thing the goofy guy is holding looks like something out of the 1990's.

Surface?

It's a Zunepad!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I really think this photo strikes big NO (even to me as an Win user).

From the look of the tablet only nobody can say nothing negative though. But it DOES matter how and who presents it. No history books can replace charisma of a good presenter! The Japanetto Takata's boss would have done brilliant job for that purpose!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They might have sold one in Japan if they had an AKB 48 girl holding the product

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it wouldnt that bad choice if it will have potential to be replaced windows pc. ive been with some android tablets having bad experiences and coming to realized that most tablets are only a huge smart phone. if i could use the win8 tablet as main computer, i will have to have and maintain only two devices of phone and tablet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am looking forward to dumping my Apple stuff, better to get it right than jump in. I'll be using my IPad for a cutting board and ipone as toilet radio, O dear it hasn't got one, I woner if it floats.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

From the headline and the product description, I thought this was looking to be a good product! (Sounds really similar to my Transformer Prime!) Then I saw THAT photo. Damn that's an ugly tablet. I am all for form over function (my old iPhone is nothing but a glorified MP3 player forever attached to a cable in my car, ever since I converted to Android with my HTC EVO), but this is just pushing it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

yildiray:

it looks identical to every other product of this type lol! Why does this one look so bad compared to, for example, an iPad?

Judging from the photo alone, the proportions look goofy (lol?). The iPad's proportions, for example, are similar to the B5 (paper) size. What kind of a size is that - television/video ratio 4:3 like the Hewlett-Packard Slate? Also, as I mentioned before, the Surface's screen looks identical to the 1996 AOL startup page. That's not "trying to put the sexy back into the Microsoft brand", that's just goofy! The article further mentions that they want to sell 'm for the same price as an iPad but fail to give very important details about its battery life. Pfff..

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Whoops! I meant function over form. Lol! JT? That edit button? Anytime now. Please?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The iPad isn't overpriced. Please people, go ahead and buy those Samsung, Nokia, and Microsoft tablets. That I way I can more easily tell if it's worth paying attention to you on the train or airplane.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The iPad isn't overpriced. Please people, go ahead and buy those Samsung, Nokia, and Microsoft tablets. That I way I can more easily tell if it's worth paying attention to you on the train or airplane.

You're judging people by the device that they own now? Nice.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

too late balmer!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I love the tablet concept, but the tablet maker that will get my money? The first one that comes out with a USB port on it. If I'm going to be restricted to 64 Gig of HD space, I'd better be able to hook my passport drive up to it... :P

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I love the tablet concept, but the tablet maker that will get my money? The first one that comes out with a USB port on it. If I'm going to be restricted to 64 Gig of HD space, I'd better be able to hook my passport drive up to it... :P

The Surface does so happy shopping! Let us know how you like it.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Dear Microsoft, the horse has already bolted!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

WOW a tablet PC, Ive never seen one of those before, I had better google it on my iPad.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The storage idea of all tablets is that your DATA is on the cloud and not on the device. I have about 120GB of DATA on the cloud which I use dailly but is only part of about my 2.5TB DATA which I also keep on HDD's. With cloud DATA means I can access from any device or cloud. I also use a small 32GB wireless drive for watching movies on my iPad.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Steve Balmer = Hannibal the Canibal? :p Is the blue screen a downloadable app? Anyway the tablet is allready dominated by Android and apple, don't see them getting a big market share quick

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This could be useful if it could connect easily to many PC peripherals because that's one thing tablets still aren't good at. Wouldn't it be so simple if ya need to print something off your tablet ASAP and just plug in the nearest printer ya encounter? Need to scan a paper instead of taking a picture - just connect to any scanner. Or even plug in a game controller to play games that's cumbersome to play touchscreen. Etc. etc.

Also work on multiple applications displayed all at once. I like multitasking; wanna be able to do some work while watching my stocks and watching a MP4 video. Stuff like that, then it could be of some use.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

When I hear the word "Surface" I think of the surface to air missiles.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Another device that no doubt millions of consumers are going to be sucked into buying.

Who's forcing you to buy anything? As for "everyone", if "everyone" didn't spend money, the world would go into such an economic funk that the great depression would look like a walk in the park.

Not relatively innocuous billionaires.

On the other hand, history might have Billy G in there somewhere for his and his wife's work in Africa.

I'd have to see the specs to see SSD

Look at the specs there http://finance.yahoo.com/news/microsoft-announces-surface-family-pcs-233100776.html

Yes. Very late to the party.

It's early in the post-PC race. Anyone could win. I would not count out a company which holds 80%+ share of the desktop space. They also have a very good R&D team. Innovation is not only the domain of Cupertino and Mountain View. Google has a chance as well, if they can get their newly acquired Motorola engineers on task.

The first one that comes out with a USB port on it.

Both the RT and PRO versions will have USB.

I had better google it on my iPad.

Yes, the ipad works, if you're a casual user who mostly uses it as a consumption medium rather than a production medium. The ipad is the TV replacement for the couch potato, MS and GOOG tablets are more like truly portable computing devices for workers --they are meant to live somewhere between workstations (number crunching machines) and smartphones.

The storage idea of all tablets is that your DATA is on the cloud and not on the device.

If it's your personal data, sure. But that's not true if you work with restricted (medical and or personally identifiable) data.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Taking over the company from Bill Gates, a true innovator, does not make Ballmer an innovator. He was just next in line.

Know your history dude please you are embarsing yourself, Ballmer was one of the first 30 employee's of Microsoft!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Ballmer

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The ipad is the TV replacement for the couch potato, MS and GOOG tablets are more like truly portable computing devices for workers --they are meant to live somewhere between workstations (number crunching machines) and smartphones.

And how do you come up with that? What do you base this on?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ah the smug apple fans belittling Microsoft and it's products, CEO - Lovely. About what one expect from such people. Interesting enough impartial unbiased reviewers seem to be impressed so far. Take Engadget:

Still, even after some brief handling, we feel impressed, almost sobered by what Microsoft's managed to produce after vowing to take the Windows 8 hardware-software package into its own hands.

From Gizmodo.

the Surface's cover also doubles as a full, extremely thin keyboard and multitouch trackpad, whereas the iPad's is just... a cover. This is a brilliant move on Microsoft's part—one of the most clever things it's ever squeezed out, and something that instantly makes Surface one of the most exciting devices we've eyed in some time. Not just another black rectangle.

From the Verge

the all new, Microsoft-made tablet. We just had our hands on the sleek new device, and we must say - it does feel incredibly well designed.

This has generated a lot more buzz and net chatter than the retina macbook pro release last week, a lot more. People are talking about this, some (I wonder who?) seem threatened by it, others are excited. Seems to have made a great initial impact, lets see whether it can deliver. The rigid magnesium alloy body, micro SD card slot, USB ports and HDMI port, the claimed best wifi speeds ever on a tablet interest me greatly. The external keyboards look intriguing, I cant wait to see it and have a go on it/them.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Carcharodon: quite a gift to be able to tell a biased review from a unbiased review, without being biased ....Anyway, here's another review (view)

“Conceived, designed and engineered entirely by Microsoft employees.” Which is why it looks pretty much like an Apple iPad, except with a blurry screen, a rear and sides designed by Sony in 1985, in the wrong aspect ratio, with a logo that serves as a warning label to informed users, festooned with bunch of unnecessary ports (of course), and a silly made-to-be-broken-off “kickstand” with a bastardized Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad hanging off it in your choice of horrid hues chosen by the usual color-blind Microsoftie.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Another review from....wait for it.... "macdailynews"? are you serious? since when has USB been unnecessary?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Got interested and looked it up some more. The picture JT posted doesn't do it justice. It's not as ugly as I previously thought, though it is a little on the boxy side... I love the idea that the magnetic cover sleeve is also a touchpad keyboard. There appears to be a USB port built on the side of the Surface, another major plus. Looks like it will be a little more elongated than the iPad, making it wider, but not as tall (panoramic). Still wondering what the exact specs are, but since the top of the line model should be able to run Windows 8, I'm assuming it will be powerful enough to compete with the ASUS Transformer Series and iPad.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Expandable memory (really, micro-SDs are getting cheaper and cheaper nowadays that there's no reason to avoid using 'em**), peripheral connections, and built-in TV connections would be a good start.

** For example: the only difference between the 16gb iPad and 32gb iPad is $100. A 16gb Class 10 micro-SDHC card can be had for around $10. Instead of being able to raise your 16gb iPad to 32gb for only $10 by adding a 16gb micro-SDHC card yourself, you're being gouged $90 just for the privilege of them doing it for you. How stupid is that?!

2 ( +3 / -2 )

Furthermore, the thin cover that doubles as an additional keyboard would appeal to the older/businessmen/Blackberry generation who prefers the comfort of a separate keyboard with all the keys laid out - but without needing to carry an extra equipment.

So there are some good ideas thought up into this.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What kind of a size is that - television/video ratio 4:3 like the Hewlett-Packard Slate?

It is a 10.6", 16:9 screen so has a larger size and better aspect ratio - Isn't the iPad a 4:3???

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Isn't the iPad a 4:3???

Yes, that's right.

That 16:9 size screen of the Surface looks okay to watch wide-screen movies on, but otherwise...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Another copy cat like Bill, oh well. like they say,"if you can't beat them copy them." Hey, isn't he the guy that laughed at the iPhone when it was introduced?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Any 16:9 tablet gets sued by Apple - it looks like the ipad. Apple seem to have a stranglehold on the size. Copy? Apple were not the first tablet -Apple copied many others before it. Bill Gates tried to push tablets a decade ago. Give apple it's due though, their tablet was the first truly successful one.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's always funny to see grown men getting worked up about silly little gadgets... keep it up fellas.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@johninnaha

well that's the point then. You had to add a keyboard to the stock device to make it a productive tool rather than a consumable only device. Most people have not added a keyboard to their iPad whereas every Surface will get one.

Question: If you have a Wacom pen with it, how's the writing? Can it take handwritten notes well? This will be on the Win 8 Pro version. As a tablet PC user the Wacom works well and OneNote is a favourite app for me so I can see direct transfer of utility.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I still can't see the use of a tablet. I also don't like these touch and drag features. When are they going to stop that? I will stick to Windows 7 and laptops. Easy to use like Apple says, lol, it took me over 2 hours to upgrade iTunes. I call that annoying.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another copy cat like Bill, oh well. like they say,"if you can't beat them copy them." Hey, isn't he the guy that laughed at the iPhone when it was introduced?

Everybody copies. Apple and MS copied their GUI off Palo Alto labs. Apple (aka Steve Jobs) said the iPhone screen size is perfect and won't increase it, but with the success of bigger smartphones, there are now plans to increase the iPhone screen. Techs copy and try to make it better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Know your history dude please you are embarsing yourself, Ballmer was one of the first 30 employee's of Microsoft!

Bro! I know my history, dude! and Ballmer still looks like a guy riding Bill Gates coattails! Bro, seriously. What has the man created? History books will remember the tech names Gates, Allan, Jobs and Wozniak. Thats it, dude.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

hoserfellaJun. 19, 2012 - 10:41AM JST

I don't think you'll find Steve Ballmer's name in any history books. Or Steve Jobs, for that matter.

hoserfellaJun. 21, 2012 - 03:19PM JST

History books will remember the tech names Gates, Allan, Jobs and Wozniak.

?????

0 ( +0 / -0 )

freakashow - that 1st one was meant to read "only" Jobs but I will allow the other 3 their place in the sun. Thats it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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